Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 23-29 July 2018

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Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 23-29 July 2018

All week

A voyage into the 1600s aboard The Golden Hinde.

WAY BACK IN WHITECHAPEL: Forget hipster coffee shops and luxury flats — Gallery 46 is taking you to the East End of the late 70s and early 80s. In A Sort of Home, photojournalist David Hoffman documents both the grit and vibrancy of life in Whitechapel, when the working class and starving artists struggled to stay afloat in Thatcherite Britain, and the Bengali community began to take root, transforming the neighborhood into the multicultural hotspot we know today. Gallery 46 (Whitechapel), free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm, 18 July-15 August

LIVING HISTORY TOUR: All aboard The Golden Hinde for a voyage into the past. Take the whole family to find out all about seafaring life on this 16th century galleon; the first English ship to circumnavigate the globe. The Golden Hinde (St Mary Overie Dock), £5 (included in admission), just turn up, 11pm/1pm/2pm/3pm, 21-27 July

NATIONAL PARK CITY WEEK: Get involved in the first ever London National Park City week and help champion our city's glorious green spaces. From a sensory safari, to haiku in a hidden garden, there's plenty to do and, with the exception of a mindfulness workshop, every event is totally free. Multiple parks across London, £0-£5, book ahead, 21-29 July

GOLD RUSH: It is the summer of 1836, and the Bank of England's directors have received a mysterious letter claiming that the bank's gold vaults can be accessed via London's sewer system. Can your little detectives solve the clues to work out which drain leads to the booty? There's a reward in it for them. Bank of England Museum (Bank), free, just turn up, 10am-4.30pm, 21 July-31 August

Monday 23 July

Head to The Monument for a Great Fire of London guided tour.

ARCHITECTURE EXPLORERS: Want to learn more about the Great Fire of London? Head to The Monument, the iconic London landmark that commemorates the disaster for an interactive walk through the City of London. You'll trace the fire's progress and hear about the people and places responsible for rebuilding the capital. The Monument, £5 adults/£2.50 kids, book ahead, 11.30pm-3.30pm

ROUGH TRADE BOOKS: An evening of poetry, fiction, art and tarot awaits at the launch of Rough Trade Editions — a dozen pamphlets designed to encourage, console, renew, and rewire. The Social (Little Portland Street), £5, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

EDINBURGH PREVIEWS: You probably recognise musical sister act Flo and Joan from their sibling rivalry-skewering songs on the Nationwide ads, but now they're stepping out of the telly and into Islington for an hour of dark and witty ditties. They're followed by political comedian Matt Forde for his last show as an EU citizen. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Tuesday 24 July

Meet veterans and hear first-hand accounts of wartime life at the Imperial War Museum.

WAR STORIES: Hear personal stories from veterans and eyewitnesses who lived through conflicts including WWII and the Cold War. It's a rare chance to hear first-hand perspectives on the causes of war and its impact on human lives. Imperial War Museum London (Lambeth), free, just turn up, 1pm

SOPHIE DUKER: Self-proclaimed 'sexy cerebral comedy underdog' Sophie Duker is coming to the Old Laundry Yard to tickle your funny bone. She's just recorded not one, but two pilots for Channel 4 and Comedy Central UK, so catch her perform for free before she hits the big time. Old Laundry Yard (Shepherds Bush), free, book ahead, 6pm-10pm

RACHEL WANG: Meet the creative director of the award-winning digital project 1000 Londoners. Prolific movie-maker Rachel Wang will reveal what she's learnt from filming at least one short documentary a week since 2014, and the Londoners she's met along the way. citizenM Tower of London Hotel (Tower Hill), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Wednesday 25 July

Family-friendly cabaret with the Purple Ladies.

PURPLE LADIES CABARET: Circus, comedy, music, poetry, dance, puppetry — this cabaret evening has it all. It's also family friendly, so bring along the sprogs for a dose of culture. The Old Library (Camberwell), by donation, book ahead, 5pm

CUBITT SESSIONS: Three young London-based musicians show off their genre-bending stuff at a free music night presented by Platoon. Solange meets James Blake in the classic soul songwriting of Talulah, while Luke Marzec brings a Polish-British twang to his tunes, and multi-instrumentalist Sipprell takes you to a new level of spacey neo-soul. Lewis Cubitt Square (King's Cross), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-9pm

PEOPLE POWERED POETRY: Witness the world's first AI fuelled-improvised poetry event. A selection of spoken word artists and comedians will have their talents put to the test as they respond to real-time trending social media topics on the fly. MOTH Club (Hackney), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm

SCIENCE MUSEUM LATE: Celebrate the miracles of modern medicine at the Science Museum. You'll hear how a brain injury survivor grapples with her sense of self, see how 3D printing is revolutionising organ transplants, and even get the chance to find out your blood type. Science Museum (South Kensington), free, book ahead for some events, 6.45pm-10pm

Thursday 26 July

Nothing to see here... just some dragon boat-racing vikings.

SUGAR RUSH: Let artist and dancer Zinzi Minott sweet talk you at the Serpentine's foodstuff-themed lecture. She's addressing the tooth-decaying deliciousness that is sugar. Serpentine Pavilion (Kensington Garden), free, just turn up, 1pm

SUNDOWNER DJ SET: What better excuse to start your weekend early than a free outdoor dance party overlooking the Thames? Heart n Soul's DJs are here to help you get your groove on by spinning some summertime bangers. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 5pm-8pm

FORTEAN FUNGI: Join London Fortean Society for a shrooming marvelous evening exploring the folklore of mushrooms, toadstools and other fungi. Expect bizarre tales of the devil, poisonings, witchcraft, enchantment and Santa Claus. The Bell (Liverpool Street), £4, book ahead, 7.45pm

DUCKS AND DRAGONS REGATTA: Cheer on Paddington locals as they race down Grand Union Canal in Chinese dragon boats in aid of COSMIC, the children's intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital. If that's not enough excitement for you, pop over in your lunch hour for Merchant Square's annual rubber duck race. Grand Union Canal, Merchant Square (Paddington Basin), free, just turn up, 12pm-1pm/5pm-9pm

Friday 27 July

Plunge into the past at London's Society of Antiquaries.

UNEARTHING THE PAST: Have a go at some William Morris-inspired floral embroidery, check out 18th fashion trends, and explore the settlements of Old Sarum with the Society of Antiquaries of London. Their grant recipients will be presenting their diverse research and encouraging you to get hands on with history. Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House (Piccadilly), free, just turn up, 2pm-8pm

NOTION MAG SUMMER PARTY: Danish alt-pop star MØ headlines Notion Magazine's summer party alongside rising star Anne-Marie. All the ticket proceeds go to music charity Nordoff Robins. Troxy (Limehouse), £5 charity donation, book ahead, 6.30pm

MIRROR MIRROR: Shove normative beauty standards where the sun don't shine with the help of the V&A. For their July Late, they're redefining beauty and exploring unapologetic assertions of self-expression. The Victoria & Albert Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-10pm

VICTORIA SIN: Sci-fi meets poetry, drag, and music in the spacey performance art of Victoria Sin. They are coming to the Serpentine as part of its Park Nights series. Serpentine Pavilion (Kensington Gardens), £5, book ahead, 8pm

Saturday 28 July

Starlight storytelling in a secret space.

MINDFUL DRINKING FESTIVAL: Step away from the Fanta — because there's a whole new world of adult-friendly, booze-free bevvies out there. From 0% beers, wines and ciders, to healthy alternatives like kombucha and herbal infusions, the Mindful Drinking Festival has plenty for you to sample. The folks from Morning Gloryville will also be hosting another of their legendary sober raves. Spitalfields Market (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, 11am-6pm

SCULPTURE WORKSHOP: Keep an eye out for Frieze's red and white tent in Regent's Park, where educators from the Royal Society of Sculptors will help the whole family create their own mini works of art. Don't forget to follow their outdoor sculpture trail beforehand for some inspiration. English Gardens, Regent's Park, free, just turn up, 12pm-4pm

DOWN THE GARDEN PATH: Head to the idyllic Gallery Cafe garden for a lunchtime world music concert. There's a huge array of vegan treats for your to purchase while you stamp your feet to The Voice Energy Project's body and vocal percussion. Gallery Cafe (Bethnal Green), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

STARLIGHT STORYTELLING: Journey at dusk to a secret spot in Richmond, and then settle down under the stars for a night of candlelit storytelling. Hear the astonishing true tale of the borough’s very own highwayman villain Jack Judd, and his beautiful dog, Lucifer. A secret location near Richmond Station, £4, book ahead, 8pm

Sunday 29 July

Reggae Roast returns to Camden.

REGGAE ROAST: Positive vibes are the order of the day at Camden Market, where Reggae Roast will setting up their thumping soundsystem for a family-friendly dub and reggae party. They'll also be showing off some of the best Caribbean cuisine, so treat yourself to nice bit of jerk chicken and keep dancing til dusk. Camden Lock Place (Camden), free entry, just turn up, 12pm-8pm

THE WALKING READING GROUP: If an afternoon stroll through the city talking about books is your idea of bliss, you're going to love the Walking Reading Group. Simply read the assigned texts on the themes of feminist struggles, utopias, and care, and then head out through central London with a conversation partner. Starts at LSE Library (Portugal Street), £4, book ahead, 2pm-5pm

POLITICAL PLAYWRIGHTS: Head to Theatre Deli and see five plays penned by young playwrights from across the globe, written in response to their current political climate. The Old Library (Camberwell), free, just turn up, 3pm

Last Updated 20 July 2018